80s babies, accumulating wealth

Unsplash/Rick L.

The government says that if you were born in the 1980s, you might have a tougher time than others at building wealth.

Based on research and statistics, there are clearly a number of hurdles in the way for millennials that were born in the ’80s.

Most family’s net worth in the ’80s took a hit

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis performed a study called “A Lost Generation?”, and it showed that the average family in the 1980s had a net worth that was 34% below reasonable projections for the time period.

The 1930’s, on the other hand, were a great time for American families as they had a net worth approximately 17% above what was projected.

The reason for their financial woes

Income and saving habits would be the common guess as to a cause for the 1980s net worth dilemma, but it was actually something else entirely.

Americans that were born in the 1960s and 70s were carrying excessive debt, primarily in the form of mortgages. When the housing market had a downturn, the net worth of those families dropped precipitously, but then it rallied and they regained their net worth.

Those born in the 1980s, though, have also carried a lot of debt while owning fewer assets like homes and stocks. That means they’ve got all the debt of previous generations minus the assets.

There’s still time to turn it around

On the bright side, the unlucky birth date doesn’t doom the 1980s generation to financial troubles forever.

There’s still lots of time for those ’80s people to turn it around by putting away assets, increasing their income, and completely changing their financial endpoint.

If you were born in the 1980s and have had some financial challenges, maybe this at least partially explains why!